Volleyball: Wahine dominate conference honors

Kim Willoughby is named WAC player of the year for the third straight season and setter Kanoe Kamana'o is named the conference Freshman of the Year.

DENVER – The Western Athletic Conference 2003 postseason award winners were announced today as selected by the league's head coaches.

Hawai‘i left side hitter Kim Willoughby earned her third-straight WAC Player of the Year honor. The senior is the first three-time winner of the honor. Hawai‘i's Kanoe Kamana'o is the fourth Wahine to win Freshman of the Year honors, while SMU's Lisa Seifert captured Coach of the Year accolades.

Six different schools were represented on the first team and eight overall. Hawai‘i, the first seed in the WAC Tournament, had six players named to the first team and one to the second team. Third-seeded Fresno State had two named to the first team and added two more on the second team. Second-seeded SMU had one player on the first team, while placing four on the second.

For the eighth-straight year, Hawai‘i boasts the Player of the Year. Willoughby has been among the nation's leaders in kills per game, hitting percentage and aces all season. The senior finished conference play leading the WAC in kills per game (6.24 kpg) and service aces with 27 (0.79 sapg).

Hawai‘i's Kanoe Kamana'o earned the school's fourth Freshman of the Year honor, finishing second in the WAC in assists per game with 12.92. She guided the Wahine, who as a team, are ranked in the top five in the nation in both hitting percentage and kills per game.

This is the first Coach of the Year honor for Lisa Seifert, as she led SMU to its best season in school history. The Mustangs posted 22 wins to only six losses during 2003. They were 11-2 in conference play, a turnaround of five wins, earning them the Eastern Division Championship. SMU earned the second-seed in the conference tournament, defeating both Fresno State and Nevada, both of whom were 2002 NCAA Tournament participants.

The WAC Tournament will begin Friday, Nov. 21 in Reno, Nev. The first match will see Eastern Division second-seeded SMU take on No. 7 Louisiana Tech, followed by No. 6 San Jose State against No. 3 Fresno State. In the second session, the nation's No. 2 team, top-seeded Hawai‘i will battle No. 8 Tulsa, while No. 4 Nevada will face No. 5 Rice.

The Hawaii vs. Tulsa match can be heard live on KKEA 1420 AM beginning at 3:15 p.m. Hawaii time or on the internet at: www.kkea1420am.com


First Team

Lauren Duggins*, Hawai‘i, MB, Sr.

Kristen Fenton*, Fresno State, OH, Jr.

Maja Gustin, Hawai‘i, MB, Sr.

Carrie Hartt*, Fresno State, MB, Sr.

Lily Kahumoku*, Hawai‘i, LS, Sr.

Kanoe Kamana'o, Hawai‘i, S, Fr.

Jessica Mihm, SMU, S, So.

Kimberly Noble, San Jose State, OH, Sr.

Rebeca Pazo*, Rice, OH, Jr.

Salaia Salave`a**, Nevada, MB, So.

Nohea Tano, Hawai‘i, RS, Sr.

Kim Willoughby*, Hawai‘i, OH, Sr.

Second Team

Tristin Adams, Nevada, S, Fr.

Tiffany Bishop, Fresno State, MB, Jr.

Cameron Flunder, Boise State, MB, Fr.

Allison Holder, SMU, RS, Sr.

Rebecca Kainz**, Rice, MB, So.

Beth Karasek, SMU, OH, Jr.

Robyn Keune, Fresno State, S, So.

Kelly Larkan, SMU, MB, So.

Lia Mora, Louisiana Tech, S, Jr.

Jacky Niederstadt, SMU, OH, Jr.

Jessie Shull, San Jose State, L, Fr.

Melissa Villaroman**, Hawai‘i, L, Sr.

Player of the Year: Kim Willoughby, Hawai‘i

Freshman of the Year: Kanoe Kamana'o, Hawai‘i

Coach of the Year: Lisa Seifert, SMU

*2002 First-team Selection

**2002 Second-team Selection

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